Scottish Parliament committee say the government is â€˜in denial' about welfare reform and food bank link
A Scottish Parliament committee has said the UK government is ‘in denial’ about the link between welfare reform and food bank use.
Members of the Scottish Parliament have claimed that evidence indicates that the use of food banks has increased 400% in a year. They say that welfare changes were a “significant cause” of the rise in demand.
The Scottish Parliament’s welfare reform committee has taken evidence from food bank providers, which include the Trussell Trust and aid charities including Oxfam Scotland and the British Red Cross, reports Inside Housing.
The DWP has claimed that there is no evidence of a link between the introduction of welfare reforms and the use of food banks.
Michael McMahon, Labour MSP and the convener of the committee, said: “The UK government can no longer ignore the evidence that their welfare reforms are having a real impact on people’s ability to feed themselves. There can be no place for this in a modern, prosperous nation, just as there should be no need for food banks. Our evidence showed some low paid workers need to access food banks. This makes it even more insulting for them to insist that people using food banks are anything other than in desperate need of help.”
In May, Esther McVey, employment minister, wrote to the Scottish Government saying food bank use was increasing across a number of different countries.
She wrote: “The rise in food banks predates most of the welfare reforms this government has put in place.”
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